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What interests you about Graham Greene's use of characterization in his short story 'A little place off the Edgware Road'.

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Introduction

What interests you about Graham Greene's use of characterization in his short story 'A little place off the Edgware Road'. In 'A little place off the Edgware Road' there are two focal characters. We learn the name of only one of these characters and the other remains unnamed throughout the story. This is the first interesting thing about Greene's use of characterization. By not naming one of the characters we see him as more mysterious and it helps us to realise at the end that he is just a figment of Craven's imagination. Greene writes in the third person rather than giving us the ultimate insight into Craven's head by writing in the first person. This also gives us a certain distance from Craven and this is much like real life as we always feel a certain distance from mad people mostly because we are not mad ourselves. In the first paragraph we are given the impression that he is a solitary, lonely character. ...read more.

Middle

Recent research on the life of Graham Greene has shown that he hired many prostitutes. This is reflected in Craven's view that you need money for love, which is what Greene also believed. Craven is also losing his faith in God.. He asks himself, "Why should he be asked to believe in the resurrection of this body he wanted to forget?" We also get the impression from this Craven might be old and his body decaying. But this decay of his body is not merely in the physical sense. It has a spiritual meaning too. In the Christian religion resurrection of the body upon the return of Christ is an important theme. Again this is interesting because it gives us another insight into Greene himself. He came from a very strict Catholic background which he rebelled against. Consequently much of his work is about guilt, conscience and the effects of straying from godliness. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is unnamed and referred to only as a bearded man. Craven's reaction to this character is interesting. Craven sees him as everything he fears is happening to himself. Craven asks himself of the bearded man, 'Was he mad?' The characterization of this character is interesting because it makes us realise more about Craven. It makes us realise the fear Craven has of turning mad. What the bearded man is is a part of Craven's mind. He is not really there and is just a figment of Craven's imagination. But Craven and the bearded man are one and the same. Both are unkempt and lonely. At the end of the story Craven calls the police. "It's the body that's disappeared." It is Craven's body that has disappeared. He has been murdered and his body has gone. When he looks at himself in the mirror he sees blood on his face. By losing his faith in religion Craven has lost the only thing which was really important to him. He had no family or friends and his solitude consumes him. ...read more.

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